Betsi Cadwaladr health board has backed controversial firm Bounty, which has been criticised for harrassing new mothers on maternity wards.
This is the response to a complaint by Wrexham Plaid Cymru that listed 20 separate incidents where mothers felt uneasy or unhappy about the behaviour of Bounty staff in Wrexham Maelor or Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.
Our exposé earlier this month prompted widespread anger and comment.
The health board gets £1922 a year from Bounty to permit full access to the maternity wards, where they give away packs of goods, take photos and collect data that's subsequently sold on to other firms.
This is the health board's response:
Re: BountyThank you for your email of 3rd October 2018, outlining the concerns raised by a number of constituents regarding the activities of the Bounty company on the maternity wards at Wrexham Maelor Hospital. Please convey my sincere apologies to your constituents for any upset or anxiety that has been caused.The Health Board does have a contract with Bounty for the distribution of its information packs across the Health Board and for photography services in both Wrexham Maelor Hospital and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, for which it receives a small remuneration. This income is received into the service and spent on patient care in these areas. These arrangements pre-date the creation of the Health Board.Bounty has been providing services to pregnant women and new mothers throughout the UK for the past 60 years and their research shows a high level of satisfaction with their services. I would like to confirm that the Health Board has never received any complaints or had any concerns raised with the service from patients in respect of Bounty. Our Director of Midwifery and Women's Services, Mrs Fiona Giraud, has also confirmed that she has never received any negative feedback from staff in relation to Bounty's activities.This does make it difficult for the Health Board to investigate the claims that have been made or to establish how representative they are. If any of your constituents would like us to investigate their specific case they are welcome to contact either the Health Board or Bounty directly.
If you'd like to send a complaint to Director of Midwifery at BCUHB Fiona Giraud contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org and please copy in email@example.com.
Plaid Cymru Councillor Carrie Harper, who raised concerns about the company, said:
"The health board has ignored the many concerns raised by new mothers and health professionals about this company.
"I'm worried that mothers are being hassled at a time when they should be able to bond with their new-born babies. Being told to hurry up with their breastfeeding or ignored because their baby was on Special Care is upsetting to say the least.
"I'm urging anyone who has had a poor experience with Bounty to contact the health board to take the matter further."